Health Center to Open in Lonsdale Area Ministry Complex
Emerald Youth, UT Medical Center, Cherokee Health Systems bring health care to Lonsdale neighborhood
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Emerald Youth Foundation announced plans to create a Health Center for the Lonsdale neighborhood, which will be housed in the Lonsdale Area Ministry Complex currently under construction along Texas Avenue between Stonewall and Sherman Streets.
The Health Center will be operated independently by Cherokee Health Systems through a collaborative agreement between Cherokee Health Systems, The University of Tennessee Medical Center and Emerald Youth Foundation and will provide a continuum of patient-centered health care services with an emphasis on wellness and prevention, as well as treatment of acute and chronic conditions.
In addition to the Health Center itself, the entities envision expanding beyond the four walls of the center and into the community through a variety of health-targeting programs including nutrition, fitness, health literacy and safer communities – all aimed at developing healthier young people and healthier families. Telemedicine will also be utilized to increase access.
“My prayer is that this center, along with the programs Emerald Youth will be offering, will become a center of influence that will change the trajectory for families in our city,” said Dr. Keith Gray, senior vice president and chief medical officer of The University of Tennessee Medical Center and member of the board of trustees of Emerald Youth Foundation. “I am excited to be working alongside so many neighborhood and community leaders to help bring this project to fruition.”
The Health Center will accept coverage through private insurance plans, state programs like TennCare or CoverKids, and will also accept those who have no insurance coverage. A sliding fee scale will also be offered to families who meet certain household size and income guidelines.
Announced in 2017, the Lonsdale Area Ministry Complex is a world-class, neighborhood complex for young people and residents of Lonsdale. It includes two multipurpose, synthetic turf fields for soccer, flag football and other sports. Additionally, the complex includes a more than 30,000 square foot multipurpose facility featuring a learning center; two full-size gymnasiums with basketball courts, locker rooms, concessions and kitchen; fitness area with weight room, dance/aerobics room and cardio theater; assembly room for gatherings; and a worship and performing arts area with practice rooms. Construction is anticipated to be completed in fall 2019.
“We are thrilled to be operating this new initiative, and we see this as a natural extension of the work we are already a part of in Knoxville,” said Dr. Roger Nooe, chairman of Cherokee Health Systems’ board of directors. “This is also a natural extension of the work of Emerald Youth has developed in the area of health and creating a healthy lifestyle for urban youth and families.”
“Part of our ministry model includes addressing systemic barriers that prevent children and families from having a full life – the kind of life Jesus describes in John 10:10,” said Kevin DuBose, director of area ministries for Emerald Youth in Lonsdale. “We would even argue that Lonsdale is a neighborhood that has experienced its own share of spiritual warfare. We work each day to engage people relationally and comprehensively in faith, learning and health. This new center presents a unique opportunity to holistically address these barriers while creating a model for the city and even the country.”
The Lonsdale Area Ministry Complex is being built in concert with the vision created 13 years ago through the Lonsdale Neighborhood Plan as adopted by the Metropolitan Planning Commission and City Council. Additionally, significant community input was sought during the 18 months of planning, including engagement with well over 400 community stakeholders. The project is being funded by the family foundations of Elisabeth and Bill Sansom and Dee and Jimmy Haslam.
In 2018, Emerald Youth launched Imagine a City, a new initiative focused on raising the next generation of promising, Godly young adult leaders for Knoxville. The Lonsdale Area Ministry Complex, including the Health Center, is a strategic step toward this goal designed to fulfill Emerald Youth’s driving vision – that Knoxville will become a city where every child, in every neighborhood, has the opportunity for a full life.
Since the project was announced, Emerald Youth has already engaged more than 100 Lonsdale neighborhood children and families through neighborhood programs.
About Emerald Youth Foundation
Since 1991, Emerald Youth Foundation has worked to support Knoxville’s youth and prepare generations of Godly community leaders. Emerald Youth has engaged more than 25,000 children and young adults in a variety of community programs over nearly three decades. Every year, Emerald Youth serves more than 2,300 children, teens and young adults in the heart of Knoxville through its faith, learning and health programs.